By Jimmy Mwangi
I have to start by commending all the writers who contribute to this blog. Finding a way with words is one of the most fascinating elements of a human brain. With Words, you get along. You’re peas in a pod. Like peanut butter and jelly. Big Up guys!! Amazingly talented. Well having read a very beautifully articulated piece titled ‘Pick Up the Phone !‘, a few thoughts have been lingering in my mind. Well, lets see how well it goes….
The CNN reporter in the background announces … another increase in poor nations aid. The World Bank said yesterday that it would almost triple lending this year, to help prevent ‘HUMAN CRISIS’ in developing countries and maybe turmoil in financial markets… I’m sure we hear this everyday. its sad that its even become background noise and we fail to realize that what they are actually describing is US! …. Machiavelli said ‘the reason why there is no change is because the people who stand to loose from change have all the power and the people who stand to gain from the change have none of the power.. what he actually described was the global structure of rich and poor in today’s society!
Would you call yourself rich?
If your answer to that was not a yes, then you are in trouble! For over 40 years as a country, we’ve been asking ourselves what causes poverty? As much as there are various challenges linked to the increased difficulty in the prosperity of Africans, I believe one major issue has contributed to the now created system of economic and personal slavery. Something that has colonized our minds and continues to plummet this country. We are actually the biggest problem! All along, we’ve been asking the wrong question. what we should be asking ourselves is what causes Wealth? Hold that thought though, don’t be too quick to think that by wealth I mean money.
Let me introduce you to a very simple idea. One that has changed my thinking in the way I work, in the way I do stuff and in the way I operate in society. How do we explain when some things don’t work the way we assumed? or better still, how do we explain when some people seem to achieve all the things that seem to defy all the assumptions? For example, why is Apple so innovative? Year after year they seem to be more innovative than any of the other companies within their category and yet, they are just a computer company. They are just like anyone else. They have access to the same talent, same consultancies, same media? Why is it that they seem to have something different?
Why is it that the Wright brothers achieved the discovery of controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air flight, while there were certainly other teams that were better qualified, better funded and in better positions to achieve this? There is something else at play here. As it turns out, there is a pattern, all the greatest leaders and organizations of the world, think and act in the same exact way and its the complete opposite to anyone else. This whole idea comes from one of my most favorite speakers and orators Simon Sinek through a simple concept he calls ‘The Golden Circle.’ Its probably the worlds simplest idea.
3 things. The Why, The How, The What! This simple idea explains why some individuals or organizations continuously inspire while others aren’t. Let me explain the terms really quickly. Every single person on the planet understands what they do. Some know how they do it. Whether through certain proprietary processes etc. Unfortunately very few of us understand WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO. By why I do not mean to make profit(money). Thats always a result. What I mean is: what’s your cause? What’s the reason you wake up in the morning? What’s your belief? Why should anyone care? As a result the way we think has always been from the clearest thing (The What) to the fuzziest thing (The Why) whereas inspired individuals or organizations regardless of their size always start with THE WHY! let me give you an example.
If Apple were like everyone else, here’s an example of how a communication message from them would sound:
We make great computers (The What)
They are beautifully designed, easy to use and user friendly (The How)
Wanna buy one? (The Why)
Completely uninspiring don’t u agree? and thats how most of us think. “Hi my name Mary and I work long hours with minimum supervision. I am self driven and I am a go getter. Please hire me”. The culture that has formed the roots of entrepreneurial journeys in this country does not inculcate such beliefs and therefore continuously end up not contributing to growth of our economies. Politicians with their 10 point plans continue to fill our screens with nonsense that is taking us absolutely nowhere. Some of the relationships we find ourselves in have no basis or reason for existence whatsoever. We say what we do, we say how its different and expect some sort of influence or vote. It’s simply uninspiring and unsustainable.
So here’s how Apple actually communicates;
Everything we do, we believe in challenging the status quo. We believe in thinking differently (The Why)
The way we do this is by making our products easy to use, beautifully designed and user friendly (The How)
We just happen to make great computers. Wanna buy one? (The What)
Totally different huh? Inspiring? All we did was reverse the order of information. What is simply proves to us is that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. We create influence buy building a ‘cause’ not by selling a reason. Individuals who are driven by a cause shall manage to build influence and success in whatever they do. Companies that sell their cause, will succeed in building influences.
I am a firm believer of Building Passion in whatever we do and this is where its starts. Starting with ‘Why’ may just as well be the first step in personal prosperity as Africans. It might just as well be the first quantum leap to breaking out into wealth which in my translation starts in the mind.
Whatever personal aspirations we have, whatever entrepreneurial aspirations we have, lets build purpose into it, maybe its time we started killing our ‘Mental Poverty’…. Lets build Wealth!
Have a Wealthy day!